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When Life Imitates Art

Oscar Wilde said that, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life.” Well, what’s certain is that the two are inextricably linked.

This morning, I came across a tiny notebook that my husband gave me when I was pregnant with my first daughter. I ended up using it as a place where I wrote small notes to my unborn child.

We were then still living in England with notion that we’d be in America one day, but we were visiting New England, a place we both loved. The entry I flipped to this morning was from Wednesday 23rd of October, 2013: I was 4 months pregnant. Look what I wrote, five years before I had a son: ‘If you have a brother one day, we’ll call him Walden Woods Macgregor after David Thoreau’s Walden Pond, which we visited today. We also saw the graves of Emerson, Hawthorne and Alcott, in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. We love the area and are so happy to have taken you for your first visit – there will be many more. We’re still working on your literary name but our favourite for a while has been Tennessee. We really hope you’ll love it, if that’s what we decide on.’

Our little girl did end up being called Tennessee. When she was two and half we moved to New Hampshire. She now has an American accent, a little sister who was born in America – and that brother we mentioned was born eleven months ago and does indeed have Walden in his name: Willoughby Walden Macgregor. Isn’t that something?

And then, to add to the beautiful dance of art and life, a friend pointed out that in my second novel,¬†The¬†Return of NorahWells, I named the main street where the heart of the story’s action takes place, Willoughby Street: my artist’s heart knew, well before I did, that I’d have a little boy and that there’d be a Willoughby and a Walden in his name. Pretty magical, hey?

Have you had an amazing experiences of art and life working together in this way?

Virginia x